Gillian Oakenfull earned her Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Houston in 1998. She is the owner of ReThink Lab, a brand-consultancy focused on providing organizations with a different take on diversity, equity, and inclusion that captures the whole consumer and employee through a cultural lens, leading to an outcome beyond inclusion, and providing impact for both growth and good, internally within the organization and externally in the marketplace. She is also an LGBTQ+ Brand-Building Consultant for Procter and Gamble.
She has been a member of the faculty of the Farmer School of Business, Miami University since 1998, currently appointed as Professor of Marketing. She recently established the Center for Kickglass Change (@KickglassM) to create social change through Awareness, Agency, and Advancement in education. She led the curricular design of the Farmer School’s innovative integrated curriculum for first-year students. Based on her BQ model of Future Work Skills, the integrated curriculum provides students with technical and soft skills required to succeed in a complex business environment driven by globalization, diversity, and technology. She developed the proprietary C.A.R.E.S. Model of WellBeing that captures the key drivers of social, psychological, and emotional wellbeing. She also developed an innovative approach to marketing to a culturally diverse consumer group called the CQMKT process that leverages cultural intelligence, or adaptability to difference. The process bakes in cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, and empathy-driven insights to better inform go-to-market strategies and market activation.
Gillian is a contributing writer to Forbes.com with a column on Cultural Leadership in a VUCA World. Her research focuses on three areas of expertise (i) social identity and marketing to underrepresented consumers, (ii) measuring brand meaning and brand management, and (iii) work skill development in an organizational setting. Her research has been published in top quality academic journals in both business and the social sciences. These include the Journal of Business Research, the Journal of Advertising Research, the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Psychology and Marketing, and Business and Society Review.
Dr. Oakenfull is an HBDI® Certified Practitioner, a CQ® Certified Facilitator and Trainer, a Belbin® Team Role Accredited Practitioner, an ICAgile® Certified Professional, and is certified in the Kepner-Tregoe Decision-making and Problem-solving method. She has won numerous national and international teaching and service awards including being named a national finalist in the 2012 US Professor of the Year award program sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and being named Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Ohio Professor of the Year.
Her talented partner in ReThink Lab is her wife with whom she is raising three sons. They have known James and Dara for ten fun-filled years as their sons are part of the same soccer-playing, PS4-loving, life-affirming clique. She is a citizen of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She’s a former NCAA Division I student-athlete in three sports [tennis, cross-country, and indoor track] who flirted with the pro tennis circuit, ran a few marathons, and still loves the feel of a well-struck ball off the racket.